Archive for December 9, 2008

PeopleBrwsr – A gift for brand managers

It is not very often that an idea translates into an effective communication solution which blows you over with its simplicity. PeopleBrowsr is one such platform which promises to provide quick access and a unique browsing experience that only an true social media enthusiast can appreciate.

Incidentally, I came across Brian Solis’s post on the browser when I was looking for a solution which would take care of my social media interface needs.

Mr. Solis introduces this application on his blog as follows:
Introducing PeopleBrowsr, an attention-centered dashboard for managing your online relationships and communication in Twitter and across multiple social networks.

At its foundation, PeopleBrowsr is a first of a kind meta-network for social networks that works with Mozilla FireFox 3, Safari 3.1 or Google Chrome – no download or plug-in required. It essentially turns your Web browser into a simple, visual social media dashboard. While there are many third-party tools for Twitter, PeopleBrowsr brings the best features from all of the popular add-on services into one solution – without requiring a download or a browser plug-in.

If you are a heavy social media user or a brand manager / analyst, it is a dream come true.

I will leave the comparisons and analysis with other similar applications to the Techies. As a user and a communications consultant I am more than overwhelmed with this application.

It is still in alpha and I would encourage you to go ahead and take it for a test ride. You will be blown away.

Mumbai terror attack: When not doing business pays…



Opportunists strike at the heart of human tragedy, shredding the spirit of Mumbai to bits. Businesses which are sensitive will sustain and win the good will of all .Those out to get a bang for their buck risk tarnishing their reputation and loose respect.



It is not a new thing. Politicians do this. Business’s do this. Corporates do this. Individuals do this. You and I also do this.



“Every crisis is an opportunity” is a line often repeated in top ranking B-schools, communications programs, marketing war zones, so on and so forth. I suspect this particular instinct develops over time as we are encouraged to get back to our routines with helpful edicts such as ‘…life moves on…’, ‘…it’s just a phase…’ and ‘…it’s business as usual…’ after any catastrophe strikes us, personal or otherwise.



The message is clear. Let us get back to our lives since we are not affected by this directly and still have to continue earning a decent living. Our collective resilience is a function of necessity and undeniable realities of life. It’s pure Darwinism, survival of the fittest.



Now, many of you would exclaim, amongst choicest abuses, things like



“Hey Hemant…what else are we supposed to do…we have to move on?”

“We just can’t hold on to our grief and stay stunned forever.”

“People need help. We need to get into action and do something…!”



I agree. But all I have to say is don’t abuse someone else’s grief and try to squeeze a buck out of them by playing on their vulnerability.



Here’s what got me pissed off.



A day after the brutal massacre by crazed zealots, probably hot on Prozac or Cocaine or what ever that works, I get a call from a leading Mumbai based Insurance Company asking whether I suddenly was aware of my mortality and would like to preserve my family’s way of life after I kick the bucket.



And another one of their ilk, the insurance arm part, one of many swishing tentacles of a corporate giant, gave me a buzz to find more about my insurance needs.



Now, now, the assumption here is that the ensuing events would have had such a drastic effect on at least 1% of the total population they touched base with, which would lead to some form of business in terms of product sale.



Perfectly legitimate, you may say, but it does leave a bad taste in the mouth.



A private firm that I know of also went ahead with its placement calls to unsuspecting recruits g/painfully employed in competitor firms. And this is what the receiver of this generous offer had to say,



“What kind of morons work at this place. The whole world is f*cking falling apart and he’s bugging me to come in for an interview! I don’t want to work in such a place”



Its business as usual they say. Life goes on… Sure, I agree. But you have insinuated the wrath of common people that you willingly subjected to your crude insensitivity. Now I don’t want your product. May be I will soften up in a couple of months, but right now I have lost respect for you!



From a communications stand point it would have made sense to shut shop or at least curb activities which cause discomfort to others. This is when it would have paid to not do business for once.

  • Mumbai terror attack events [Link]
  • BJP, a leading political party in India, issued an advertisement which tries to score a political point after the gruesome events [Link]